Vijay back in squad for Sri Lanka Tests

Chopra: Dhawan should be Vijay's opening partner (4:46)

Former India batsman Aakash Chopra dissects the 16-member squad that has been announced for the first two Tests against Sri Lanka starting November 16 (4:46)

Opening batsman M Vijay has returned to India's Test side for the first two Tests against Sri Lanka. Vijay had missed the Tests on the Sri Lanka tour due to a wrist injury. The three-Test series against Sri Lanka will begin from November 16 in Kolkata.

Vijay's return was the only change to India's squad which had toured Sri Lanka earlier this year, with Abhinav Mukund making way. Axar Patel, who had come as Ravindra Jadeja's replacement following the latter's suspension for the Pallekele Test, was left out.

In the lead-up to the selection committee meeting in Mumbai, there was some speculation that Virat Kohli would be rested. The Indian Express had reported that Kohli had asked for personal time off in December, when India and Sri Lanka are slated to play the third Test and the six limited-overs matches. Since the Test squad has been announced only for the first two games, which will be played in November, there is still a possibility of Kohli getting time off.

"With regard to Virat Kohli there has been some speculation that he's going to be rested for the whole of Sri Lanka series," India's chairman of selectors, MSK Prasad, said. "It's not right. Yes, as far as Test series is concerned, he's going to play and at some point of time, the rotation policy that we're following will also apply to the captain. We're also monitoring his workload - he's been playing continuously right from the IPL. We need to give him a break and we will consider after the Test series."

Kohli had recently spoken about India's "hectic" schedule, before the start of the ODI series against New Zealand and had hinted that some "key batsmen" would also be rested before the upcoming away tours in 2018. Prasad did not identify which players would be rested and only said the workload of all players was being monitored.

"Considering the workload and considering the international schedule we have right now, we are definitely rotating the players," he said. "And it is too premature to say right now [who will be rested]. If you see the pattern with which we are selecting and we will let you know at an appropriate time. One thing is for sure that we are definitely going to rotate and monitor the workload of the players."

The selectors also announced the Board President's XI for a two-day practice match against Sri Lanka, scheduled for November 11 and 12 in Kolkata. Led by wicketkeeper-batsman Naman Ojha, the squad features players whose teams will not play the Ranji Trophy round that is scheduled to begin on November 12. The team includes Sanju Samson, Jalaj Saxena and 20-year-old Madhya Pradesh seamer Avesh Khan.